Many of us are ready for MCO 2.0 to be over. It started on 13th January and has been extended several times since then. It’s scheduled to end on 4th March, but many are dreading yet another extension.
To answer the question on whether MCO 2.0 will end or not, Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali gave his statement at a press conference after Perikatan Nasional’s one-year anniversary event. He firmly clarified that the government’s decision regarding the matter must be justified by “data and science”.
According to the Senior Minister (Economy), the special National Security Council met today to decide the extension or end of MCO 2.0. “(Senior Minister) Ismail Sabri (Yaakob) will announce the decision tomorrow (2nd March),” Mohd Azmin said. “Our decision is based on our experience for the last one year and we have collected all data and statistics for the past year.”
Mohd Azmin explained this was how the government has been deciding matters related to the MCO for the past year. “If we need to extend the MCO, then the decision needs to be justified based on data and science,” he asserted. “If we decide otherwise, it also has to be based on data and science.”
The International Trade and Industry Minister claimed the government has been very transparent and responsible when sharing data with the public. He recounted how Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Senior Minister of Security and Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the Health director-general regularly appear on live television to share all data with the public. “As a responsible government, data sharing is very crucial and it helps us to come up with the most effective solutions,” he stated.
Regarding the country’s tourism industry, he alluded that it has been terribly crippled by the pandemic. “The effects are not just felt by the hotel industry, but also logistics, airlines and other sub-sectors,” he admitted. He then revealed that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry are working with the International Trade and Industry Ministry, and Health Ministry to outline standard operating procedures to be implemented after the MCO.
For now, Mohd Azmin disclosed that his ministry will be coming up with a “Safe At Work” approach for workers to prevent outbreaks at workplaces. If the working paper on the approach is approved by the National Security Council, it will be implemented at all factories and workplaces. He hopes to improve the industry’s responsibility for their workers’ health and safety. “If their workplaces are protected and have no infections, then there is no reason for their operations to be shut down,” he explained.
Currently, the MCO is still imposed in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor.
Source: The Star